What is the difference between those who act in alignment with what they know and want, and those who take action that does not support their goals?
We lose our power when we think one way and act in another.
The disconnect between what we know to be true and the actions we take can be seen in many aspects of our lives: diet, exercise, environment, etc. This disconnect is also apparent when it comes to how we lead or operate our businesses. For instance, many business owners know employee happiness leads to increased profits, but they invest more in potential clients than in supporting their team. Why? Pressed for time, limited resources, clients are the ones who bring in revenue, etc. The underlying belief in all of these is limitation — believing that opportunities are limited will create a reality in which your business decisions are made based on a feeling of limitation rather than from alignment with your principles and long-term goals. The justification will always be that the company needs money now, that the future will allow for time to invest in employees, etc.
Belief and Reason
Our beliefs are just thoughts that we've practiced long enough to shape the way we see ourselves, each other, and business. Psychologist Carol Dweck's theory on Growth Mindset states that people don't try to overcome a challenge when they believe that their ability to do so is limited and that this limited ability is fixed, as in it is not something they can learn or develop. Having a fixed mindset creates feelings of hopelessness as people view themselves as incapable of finding a solution to a problem or overcoming a challenge. Dweck asserts that a belief, such as "it's too late to reverse that," or "I don't know how to do that," flashes through the mind in the instant between identifying the problem and looking for a solution. The belief in situations and one's capabilities being limited or fixed then prevents the mind from allowing insight into the solution.
Beliefs are not always true, logical, or based on reason. They are only opinions that we hold about ourselves, others, life, and everything in between.
The best part is that beliefs can change and evolve - and at any age. Dweck found that capabilities, skills, and intelligence are equally malleable. Her research shows that simply holding the belief that we can learn something and develop our skills enables us to do so. There is no such thing as being bad at leading, negotiating, math, or anything else. Believing in our ability to accomplish something, for instance increasing profits by investing in employee wellness, enables us to find how to make that happen.
Transforming What You Know into Action
If you want to lead your organization in a new direction, take the following steps:
Set your long-term goals
Align your daily actions with your long-term goals
If there is disharmony within your organization or a disconnect between what you want and how you act, ask yourself what skills you need to be able to act in a way that leads to your goals.
Then take action on acquiring those skills
Having the belief that our goals, knowledge, and actions can align is the first step in allowing our intuition to guide us on the path of finding solutions, developing skills, and overcoming challenges.
If you want to invest in your employees so that you are running a business that gives value to you, your clients, and your team, then stay focused on those goals with the belief that opportunity is always present.
When your underlying belief is every challenge is an opportunity, then you are not going to abandon your plans or company needs to cater to a single client. Rather, you will create and develop your product or services according to your principles, and attract clients and employees who share those principles.
You will be able to invest in your team so that your business is a mutual and consistent vehicle of reciprocity. This is the holistic way.